Life is what happens to us while we're making other plans. - John Lennon
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 175, Part II, 8 September 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 175, Part II, 8 September 1999

A daily report of developments in Eastern and Southeastern
Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia prepared by the
staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

This is Part II, a compilation of news concerning Central,
Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Part I covers Russia,
Transcaucasia and Central Asia and is distributed
simultaneously as a second document. Back issues of RFE/RL
Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest are online at RFE/RL's Web
site: http://www.rferl.org/newsline

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Headlines, Part II

* IMF APPROVES RELEASE OF $184 MILLION TRANCHE TO UKRAINE

* SERBIAN GENERAL THREATENS TO RETAKE KOSOVA BY FORCE

* OSCE OPENS POLICE ACADEMY IN KOSOVA

End Note: TRANSYLVANIA'S 'COSI FAN TUTTE'
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

RUSSIA'S PUTIN IN BELARUS TO DISCUSS INTEGRATION. Russian
Premier Vladimir Putin arrived in Minsk on 8 September to
chair a session of the Belarus-Russian Union Executive
Committee. "Regardless of any domestic problems in Russia and
regardless of who heads the government, Russia's policy
toward Belarus remains unchanged," Belapan quoted Putin as
saying on his arrival. It is expected that Putin will discuss
economic integration issues with Premier Syarhey Linh and a
draft union treaty with President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. JM

IMF APPROVES RELEASE OF $184 MILLION TRANCHE TO UKRAINE. The
IMF on 7 September approved the release of an $184 million
tranche to Ukraine after the fund completed its third review
of the country's economic policy under a three-year $2.6
billion loan program, dpa reported. IMF First Deputy Managing
Director Stanley Fischer commented that the IMF Board of
Directors noted that so far in 1999 macroeconomic
developments have exceeded expectations and that fiscal
adjustment has been encouraging. Meanwhile, National Bank
head Viktor Yushchenko said Ukraine will be able to pay off
its mounting foreign debts in 2000 provided the parliament
approves a deficit-free budget and the IMF continues its
financial aid. JM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER BLASTS KUCHMA. Opening the
parliament's fall session on 7 September, speaker Oleksandr
Tkachenko accused President Leonid Kuchma of using improper
measures against his rivals ahead of the 31 October
presidential ballot. "The government has grown into the
incumbent's campaign headquarters," Tkachenko said, adding
that regional authorities were told to work for Kuchma's re-
election. The media, he continued, are used by the government
to spread "false information" about other candidates. During
its current session, the parliament intends to consider 490
draft laws, including the 2000 draft budget as well as budget
and tax codes. Since 13 presidential candidates are
parliamentary deputies, it is widely expected that the
session will be turbulent. JM

LATVIAN PRESIDENT IN LITHUANIA. Vaira Vike-Freiberga paid a
two-day visit to Lithuania on 6-7 September. She met with
Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus to discuss EU and NATO
integration as well as bilateral ties. The two presidents
voiced the hope that the EU will begin accession negotiations
with their countries. They also discussed the lagging
maritime border agreement between Latvia and Lithuania (see
below), but ELTA noted that the controversial Butinge oil
terminal did not feature in the talks. Vike-Freiberga also
met with Lithuanian Prime Minister Rolandas Paksas and
Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas. MH

LATVIAN-LITHUANIAN MARITIME BORDER PACT IN TROUBLE? The
Latvian parliament's Economic Committee has voted against
ratification of the Latvian-Lithuanian maritime border
treaty, BNS reported on 7 September. ELTA noted that the
committee argued the agreement is not in Latvia's economic
interests. Latvian President Vike-Freiberga regretted the
unfortunate timing of the decision, which was made while she
was in Lithuania, but voiced optimism that agreement will
soon be reached. Lithuanian President Adamkus noted that the
lack of an agreement on the issue is the only thing
overshadowing relations between Latvia and Lithuania," BNS
reported. Latvian Foreign Minister Indulis Berzins and a
large number of Latvian lawmakers also expressed their
support for the border treaty, which was signed earlier this
summer in Palanga (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 July 1999). MH

POLAND'S LEFTIST TRADE UNIONS WANTS CHANGE OF CABINET. The
National Trade Union Alliance (OPZZ), Solidarity's left-wing
rival, has called on all those dissatisfied with Jerzy
Buzek's cabinet to take part in an anti-government
demonstration in Warsaw on 24 September (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 6 September and 27 August 1999). According to the
OPZZ, the government "has exhausted the possibilities of
ruling and is in a state of permanent crisis." The alliance
also criticized the government's proposals for changing the
tax rates as well as its property restitution bill and 2000
budget draft. "This government will not change itself--so let
us change the government," the OPZZ urged. JM

PREMIER FORESEES DIFFICULT NEGOTIATIONS ON POLAND'S EU BID.
Jerzy Buzek told the parliament on 8 September that the
country is ready for "tough" negotiations on joining the EU
by 2003, AP reported. Buzek said that by the end of November,
Poland will complete all the required 30 reports on various
issues regarding EU membership, and he stressed that the 2003
entry date is attainable. According to Buzek, his
parliamentary address launched a nationwide dialogue on EU
entry. That dialogue will conclude with a referendum,
presumably in 2002. JM

POLISH CABINET AGREES TO RESTRUCTURE STATE RAILWAY. Transport
Minister Tadeusz Syryjczyk said on 7 September that the
government has approved a plan to restructure the state-owned
railway (PKP), Poland's largest employer. Under that plan,
the PKP will be divided into a company responsible for the
trains and another for the tracks. Strategic investors will
be required for both companies. "Rzeczpospolita" said some
59,000 workers out of the 204,000 currently employed by the
PKP may be laid off by 2003. The plan also provides for
severance payments of up to 30,000 zlotys ($7,500) for those
who lose their jobs. JM

CZECH EU NEGOTIATOR SAYS ENTRY IN 2003 STILL POSSIBLE. After
meeting with European Commission chief negotiator Francois
Lamoureux in Prague on 7 September, Deputy Foreign Minister
Pavel Telicka said he expects the commission's October report
to be "critical" of the Czech Republic. Telicka said the
target accession date 2003 is "ambitious" but "not
unrealistic," CTK reported. He added that it is "not enough"
to pass laws in line with EU legislation but also to
implement them. The commission, he said, is interested to see
how the courts will apply the laws on protecting intellectual
property and combating corruption as well as anti-monopoly
legislation. MS

CZECH POLICEMAN INVOLVED IN RACIST INCIDENT. A police cadet
is to be dismissed and faces a prison term for requesting
donations to "exterminate Gypsies", CTK and AP reported. The
drunken cadet tried to collect the money in a cafe in Novy
Jicin, 350 kilometers east of Prague, on 4 September. A local
policeman who said he would not support racists suffered
brain concussion after the cadet attacked him. On 7
September, Romany representatives at a meeting with OSCE
officials in Vienna threatened another mass exodus if
persecution of Romany minorities in European countries is not
ended. Czech Romany activist Ondrej Gina said the planned
construction of a wall in Usti nad Labem will "become an
impulse for further migration" and signals that "we are not
welcome in the Czech Republic." MS

HUNGARIAN DAILY'S STAFF COMPLAIN ABOUT POLICE QUESTIONING.
Andras Banki, chief editor of "Vilaggazdasag," and two of his
staff members have filed a complaint with the Prosecutor-
General's Office after police questioned them for several
hours on 7 September on suspicion of disclosing banking
secrets. Last week, the newspaper published a list of
Postabank's "'VIP account holders" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3
September 1999). The three journalists told police that the
list was mailed by an unidentified person. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBIAN GENERAL THREATENS TO RETAKE KOSOVA BY FORCE. General
Vladimir Lazarevic told the independent weekly "Nedeljni
Telegraf" of 8 September that "the refusal of the
international community to fulfill its obligations according
to the [Kosova peace] agreement [leads the Serbian
authorities to conclude] that we will have to retake our
territory by force." He added that NATO has turned Kosova
into an "occupation zone," AP reported. "This state has a
right to protect its own territory and people. We are ready,"
the general stressed. Lazarevic noted that the army is
"constantly deliberating its reengagement" in the province
and is only "awaiting for the appropriate command" from the
authorities. PM

EXPLOSIONS ROCK U.S. SECTOR IN KOSOVA. A NATO spokesman said
in Prishtina on 8 September that two persons were killed and
four injured in a "series of explosions" in the Gjilan area
the previous night. He did not specify the nationality of the
victims, AP reported. PM

ATTACKERS TRY TO BLOW UP CHAPEL IN KOSOVA. A Serbian Orthodox
school chapel in Prizren was damaged by unidentified
attackers who exploded five antitank mines on 6 September,
Reuters reported. The attackers had placed a total of 20
mines around the chapel but 15 did not explode. In Vushtrri,
a French soldiers stopped a man from setting fire to a
church. The arsonist then shot at the soldier, slightly
injuring him before fleeing. The church was only slightly
damaged. In eastern Kosova, Russian KFOR soldiers found a
Serbian man who had been shot dead on his tractor. And near
Peja, unidentified attackers threw a grenade at a Serbian
house. No one was injured. FS

OSCE OPENS POLICE ACADEMY IN KOSOVA. Sven Fredrikson, the
Danish chief of the international police force in Kosova,
inaugurated the Kosova police academy in Vushtrri on 7
September. The academy will be directed by Steve Bennett, a
former U.S. marine. The first 200 cadets are 166 Albanians,
26 Serbs, and eight members of other ethnic communities.
Forty of the students are women. Only one Serb attended the
opening ceremony, "The New York Times" reported. There were
19,000 applicants for positions at the academy. The academy
will eventually train between 3,500 and 4,000 police
officers. Fredrikson told the students: "You must understand
that without justice for everyone there will not be justice
for anyone. You are the future, you'll protect the weak and
innocent." FS

DJINDJIC SEEKS PROTECTION FOR KOSOVA SERBS. Serbian
Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic said during a visit to
Bucharest on 7 September that the international community
must take steps to protect Serbs living in Kosova and to
enable refugees to return. He added: "It is not safe to be in
[Kosova] now as non-Albanian citizen. We expect the
international community to take the initiative to bring back
200,000 Serbs to [the province] to have a multi-ethnic, not
an ethnically-cleansed [Kosova], this time done by the
Albanian side," Reuters reported. Djindjic stressed that NATO
does not need more troops but rather "a different kind of
involvement." He did not elaborate. PM

AVDEEV MEETS MILOSEVIC... Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
Aleksandr Avdeev met with Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic in Belgrade on 7 September, AP reported.
Milosevic's office issued a statement after the meeting
saying that "Russia supports Yugoslavia in its principled
efforts and condemns violations of the UN Security Council
resolution [on Kosova].... The greatest threat to a political
solution...and the stabilization of relations in the region
is the unhindered continuation of crimes by Albanian bandit
groups." The statement also called on KFOR to combat
"terrorism, lawlessness, and crime" and urged an end to the
"ethnic cleansing" of Serbs in Kosova. Milosevic is wanted by
the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
for masterminding war crimes in Kosova. Avdeev is the
highest-ranking foreign official to meet with Milosevic since
the end of the Kosova war. FS

...AND SESELJ. Avdeev also met with ultranationalist Serbian
Deputy Prime Minister Vojislav Seselj in Belgrade on 7
September. AP quoted Tanjug as saying that the two had a
"lengthy and friendly discussion" and condemned "efforts by
some Western countries to create an international
protectorate" in Kosova. Avdeev told ITAR-TASS after the
meetings that "we voiced the need to draw lessons from the
[Kosova] tragedy. It would be a pity if politicians are the
last to do that." FS

SERBIAN UNIONS CALL FOR GENERAL STRIKE. A spokesman for the
Association of Independent Trade Unions said in Belgrade on 7
September that it will launch a general strike in conjunction
with the mass protests slated for 21 September in Belgrade
and 20 other cities and towns. The spokesman urged "artists,
scholars, self-employed people, and unemployed persons" to
support the strike, "Danas" reported. In Serbian usage, a
general strike usually means a series of work stoppages
rather than an attempt to shut down all businesses. PM

LEADING SERBIAN BANKER WARNS OF INFLATION. Dragoslav
Avramovic said in Belgrade on 7 September that the
authorities' recent decision to raise the prices of 700
consumer items by some 30 to 40 percent could lead to a
renewal of the hyperinflation that he stopped when he headed
the National Bank in 1994. Avramovic noted that the system he
put in place "was based on low wages and low prices of
staples and electricity. Now this has been disrupted,"
"Danas" reported. PM

BOSNIAN SERB OFFICERS TO GO ABROAD ONLY WITH GUARANTEE.
Manojlo Milovanovic, who is the Republika Srpska's defense
minister, said in Banja Luka that Bosnian Serb officers may
travel abroad only if they have written guarantees from SFOR
and the Hague-based war crimes tribunal that they will not be
arrested for war crimes, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service
reported on 7 September (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 September
1999). He added that the court's policy of indicting persons
in secret is against "international practice" and unduly
makes innocent persons feel insecure, the Frankfurt-based
Serbian daily "Vesti" reported. Milovanovic stressed that the
recent arrest of General Momir Talic in Austria for war
crimes will not affect "very much" the Bosnian Serb army's
relations with SFOR. PM

CROATIAN NGO WANTS LEGAL MEASURES AGAINST RIGHTIST LEADER.
The Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights has sent a
letter to Prosecutor-General Berislav Zivkovic calling on him
to take legal measures against right-wing politician Ante
Djapic for allegedly urging the army to stage a coup if the
government extradites any Croatian generals to The Hague,
RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported on 7 September.
Opposition politician Vlado Gotovac has also called for legal
measures against Djapic. In Vojnic, Djapic denied that he
urged the army to stage a coup. He said that he only sought
to protect "persons who helped create the Croatian state." He
suggested his critics are unpatriotic, "Novi List" reported
on 8 September. PM

BERISHA CHARGES INVESTIGATORS WITH DESTROYING EVIDENCE ON
HAJDARI KILLING Opposition Democratic Party leader Sali
Berisha on 7 September accused unspecified investigators of
destroying evidence about the killing of Democratic
legislator Azem Hajdari on 14 September 1998, an RFE/RL South
Slavic Service correspondent reported from Tirana. Berisha
also said that several witnesses have left Albania to avoid
giving testimony and that others involved in the murder have
been killed recently. He intimated that the government is
trying to eliminate possible witnesses, but he did not
elaborate. Berisha has repeatedly turned down calls from
investigators to testify in the Hajdari investigation. FS

SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER IN ROMANIA. Serbian Democratic
Party leader Djindjic and Petre Roman, leader of Romania's
Democratic Party, have signed a cooperation agreement between
their respective parties, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported
on 7 September. Djindjic agreed with President Emil
Constantinescu to "establish permanent contacts" between the
Serbian opposition and "Romanian authorities." Prime Minister
Radu Vasile told Djindjic that Romania would "welcome a
process of coagulation--not necessarily unification--to
increase the efficiency" of the Serbian opposition and that
the "first condition for solving Yugoslavia's problem is the
change of the Milosevic regime." Vasile also said that
Romania is "worried by certain [Hungarian] declarations about
the situation of the Magyar minority in Vojvodina." He said
Romania "can by no means agree to modifications of borders."
MS

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT CONVENES MEETING OF PARLIAMENTARY PARTIES.
Constantinescu has called for a meeting of parliamentary
parties to discuss ways of overcoming differences over the
restitution laws being debated in the Chamber of Deputies and
the Senate, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau. The meeting is to take
place on 9 September. Party of Social Democracy in Romania
chairman Ion Iliescu has also called for such a meeting.
Meanwhile, data released by the National Statistics
Commission on 7 September shows Romania's GDP in the first
six month of 1999 dropped by 3.9 percent compared with same
period last year. Foreign investment since 1990 totals $5.77
billion. The figure includes direct foreign investment,
portfolio investments, investments in private companies, as
well as privatization contracts not yet finalized. Holland is
Romania's largest investor, with $658 million. MS

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION PARTY LOSES PARLIAMENTARY GROUP STATUS.
Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR) Senator Iustin
Tambozie announced on 6 September that he is leaving the PUNR
and becoming an independent senator. That move deprives the
PUNR of its parliamentary group status and consequently of
representation in the chamber's Permanent Bureau. Tambozie is
the third PUNR senator to leave the formation since the 1996
elections (see also "End Note" below). MS

MOLDOVAN COMMUNISTS ATTACK PARLIAMENTARY CHAIRMAN OVER
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE. In a 7 September statement, the Party of
Moldovan Communists (PCM) said parliamentary chairman Dumitru
Diacov is "provoking a new explosion of passions" over the
issue of changing the country's official language. The PCM
also accused him of "destabilizing" the country. On 31
August, Moldova's Language Day, Diacov called for amending
the constitution to change the designation of the country's
official language from "Moldovan" to Romanian. The PCM says
Diacov's proposal is a "new harsh attack by the pseudo-
democrats on the ethnic and linguistic singularity of the
Moldovan people [aimed at] undermining its self-
determination...and promoting Romanianization and [Moldovan-
Romanian] unionism," Infotag reported. MS

BULGARIA RESPONDS TO BLOCKING OF ROMANIAN DANUBE. Dimiter
Stanchev, executive director of the Bulgarian River Shipping
Corporation, said on 7 September in the River Danube port of
Russe that Serbia's obstruction of traffic on the river must
be punished by "sanctions that match their steps." Stanchev
said the Romanian protests launched one day earlier are
"logical" but "there are other ways to bring international
pressure" on Serbia. He said that if Romanian claims that the
Serbian authorities are letting only Russian and Ukrainian
ships navigate a canal around Novi Sad are substantiated,
Bulgarian ports should introduce "licensing requirements" for
Serbian vessels, BTA reported. MS

ZHIVKOV GETS MEMORIAL PLAQUE IN BULGARIAN HOMETOWN. Local
officials in Pravets, some 50 kilometers north of Sofia,
marked the birthday of former communist dictator Todor
Zhivkov on 7 September by unveiling a memorial plaque and
naming a central square after him. Members of Zhivkov's
family attended the ceremony. Zhivkov died last year aged 87.
MS

END NOTE

TRANSYLVANIA'S 'COSI FAN TUTTE'

By Michael Shafir

	Parliamentary and presidential elections in Romania are
not due until the fall of 2000, but the electoral campaign
has already begun. Democratic Party Chairman Petre Roman
announced his candidacy for the presidency in mid-August in
the Transylvanian town of Targu Mures, and his party
simultaneously launched its "Message to Transylvania."
	 Introducing that manifesto, Roman called for
cooperation between the region's ethnic minorities and the
Romanian majority, which he said is now possible because "no
one questions Romania's territorial integrity today." But
visiting the headquarters of the Targu Mures garrison, Roman
professed that the officer corps' concern about an alleged
attempt to bring about "Transylvania's destabilization" had
made a big impression on him. Those familiar with the
Democratic Party chairman's double-talk were hardly
surprised.
	The specter of the "destabilization attempt" was raised
by Adrian Nastase, first deputy chairman of the opposition
Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR). In mid-July,
Nastase told journalists in Cluj, Transylvania's capital,
that an "explosive situation" might develop in Transylvania
this fall against the background of the country's "increasing
economic, political and social vulnerability." He claimed to
have "information" on the plans of the "Magyar revisionists"
to create such a situation. Later, he called on the Romanian
Intelligence Service to investigate and make public the plots
allegedly under way.
	But Roman and Nastase were not the only ones ready to
play the Romanian nationalist card in Transylvania. In early
June, President Emil Constantinescu--the likely presidential
candidate of the ruling National Peasant Party Christian
Democratic (PNTCD) and the Democratic Convention of Romania
(CDR--rushed to respond to a document of unclear origin in
which a handful of "Transylvanian intellectuals" demanded
autonomy for the region. As "guarantor of the constitution",
Constantinescu said, he would never agree to "separatist
ideas." The fact that this statement was also made in Targu
Mures is no coincidence. Transylvania has become the main
testing ground for the arsenal likely to be used by political
competitors in election year 2000.
	There are several reasons for this development. First,
the PDSR is well aware that it lost the 1996 elections to a
great extent owing to its unpopularity in Transylvania. The
CDR won almost the entire western and central parts of
Romania in 1996. Now leading in opinion polls, the main
opposition party would strengthen its position overall if it
were able to turn the tables on its main competitors--
particularly the PNTCD--in what was their bastion.
	Second, the PNTCD has made it easier for the PDSR to do
just that by showing signs of disintegration at the local
level. Former Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea, himself a
Transylvanian, split the party in April, when he set up the
National Christian Democratic Alliance (ANCD). The Boila
brothers, two pillars of the Transylvanian PNTCD, who for
many years dominated the important Cluj branch of the party,
joined Ciorbea in the ANCD, while Ciorbea recently announced
he will run for president in 2000.
	Third, the PDSR is also trying to pick up where the
Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR) left off. Polls
indicate that the PUNR, whose strength in the Romanian
parliament fell from 7.7 percent in 1992 to 4.4 percent in
1996, may fail to pass the electoral hurdle in 2000. Once the
darling of Romanian nationalists in Transylvania, the PUNR is
a regional party par excellence.
	Even more than the PNTCD, however, the PUNR has suffered
from political schisms. Following his dismissal as PUNR
leader in February 1997, Cluj extreme nationalist Mayor
Gheorghe Funar in April 1998 set up a rival Party of Romanian
Unity Alliance (PAUR), only to join the Greater Romania Party
(PRM) as its secretary-general in November. Those members of
the PAUR who did not follow Funar into the PRM recently
joined the PDSR. More important, Vatra romaneasca (Romanian
cradle) leaders also joined that party, securing for
themselves a place on the PDSR lists for the 2000
parliamentary elections. Vatra romaneasca, which, claims to
be a "cultural organization," played a major role in
provoking the inter-ethnic clashes in Targu Mures in March
1990.
	 Mihaila Cofariu, the Romanian "hero" of those clashes,
who was badly beaten by ethnic Hungarians and was later
recruited into the PRM, attended a recent PDSR meeting in
Bucharest as guest of honor. PRM leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor
immediately protested the PDSR's co-opting Cofariu, which he
dubbed an "Abduction from the Seraglio." Threatening to
retaliate, Tudor said that many PDSR sympathizers are
knocking on his party's door.
	 It is not an "abduction" that is being staged in
Transylvania, however. Rather, with most Romanian parties
trying to court nationalism, it is "Cosi fan tutte." The
Romanian National Party (PNR), which took the name of a 19th
century forerunner of the PNTCD in Transylvania, is obviously
targeting the same nationalist-inclined Romanian electorate
as are other parties. Former Romanian Intelligence Service
chief Virgil Magureanu, the party's acting chairman and a
Romanian Transylvanian, is believed to have masterminded the
Targu Mures riots.
	Headed by former Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu--
whose diplomatic career often put him at the center of
Romanian-Hungarian disputes both under communist leader
Nicolae Ceausescu and his successor, Ion Iliescu--the
Alliance for Romania is also attempting to score points using
anti-Hungarian rhetoric taken from the nationalists' verbal
arsenal. That this arsenal is old-fashioned speaks volumes
about the paucity of political discourse in Romania 10 years
after the country began its "transition."

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